Chocolate cherry cookies

Hi there! It’s been a while, and I kept telling myself I’d get back to blogging tomorrow, in a day, a week, etc, but finally, I’m here writing the post. Hope you all had w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l holidays, full of surprises, lovely moments and delicious food. What is your favorite sweet treat during winter? Hot chocolate, spiced orange cake or just lots of chocolates? I’m still eating chocolates from the Christmas tree (yes, it’s still in our house, and probably will be here until the beginning of February).Chocolate Cherry cookies

I adore dark chocolate with cherry pieces in it, and I like cookies: good, buttery with those tiny little dots of pure vanilla in it. So, I combined my both desires and prepared these beautiful cookies. I’m thinking you will really love it. Even though, I prefer vanilla cookies over chocolate, but not this time. Better you cook and try, and you will never buy a cookie. Ok, maybe you will but nothing taste like homemade cookies, prepared with high-quality ingredients and the most important – your passion and love. Give these a try and you will be as happy with them as I was.ChocoCookies

Triple the quantity and take some to share with your friends or co-workers, or maybe even a neighbor.ChocoCherryCookies

Chocolate cherry cookies

What you’ll need
100g mild dark chocolate
50g dark chocolate with cherry pieces, or plain dark chocolate
180g plain flour
30g cocoa
1.5 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
120g butter, at room temperature
50g light brown sugar
50g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
100g dried cherries
100g chopped/slivered almonds
20-30g dark chocolate with cherry pieces, optional
How to make it
  1. Chop 150g chocolate or break into pieces, and put into heatproof bowl and microwave on low power or melt over a pan of simmering water.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk butter with sugar for 5 minutes or until light. Whisk in vanilla extract and then eggs (one by one). Add the melted chocolate and stir well.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the batter mixture and stir well. Stir in cherries, almonds and chopped chocolate (if using).
  5. Line the baking sheet with baking paper and scoop out equal portions in some distance apart. Make 14 equal balls, flatten them.
  6. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 15 minutes.
Enjoy!
Chocolate cookies with cherries&almonds

 

Leftovers wholemeal galette

 If you could have a look at my freezer you would found there a disc of shortcrust pastry. It’s very handy to have one there, so once you don’t know what to cook or unexpectedly a friend decided to come over, you can prepare a nice tasty galette (or mini quiches, click here for the ideas) in almost no time. Tip: make a couple of crusts ahead, shape into discs (it takes less space in the freezer and then easier to roll out) and freeze. For the filling you can use almost whatever you can find in your fridge or even freezer, wether it is savory or sweet stuff. And another tip: freeze roasted or boiled chicken, deli ham leftovers; or if you bought too many fruits and berries, clean and cut them and freeze as well.
 This time I had a roasted chicken and gammon leftovers, I combined both. Gammon was a bit dry, so probably I won’t use it next time. But the chicken tasted quiet nice, especially mixed with lots of leeks sautéed in a butter and few cherry tomatoes. Some cream cheese (on any other cheese) on top makes this delicious wholemeal galette only better.
Leftovers Wholemeal Galette
If you fancy to try sweet galette click here. Cherry one!  😉

Leftovers wholemeal galette

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients 
Wholemeal shortcrust pastry
100g wholemeal flour
100g plain flour
120g butter
1-2 tbsp iced cold water
Filling
roasted chicken leftovers
leek, sautéed in butter&oil
few cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
2 quill eggs (1 egg yolk separated), optional
some cream cheese
S&P to taste
Method
  • For the pastry combine ingredients, shape into a disc and keep in the fridge for 30 minutes, or freeze until needed.
  • Roll out the pastry into 2-3mm thick disk, arrange filling. Pour over slightly bitten eggs, if using. Dot with creame cheese. Fold in the pastry edges. Brush with remaining egg yolk.
  • Bake in preheated 180C oven for 30 minutes.
Enjoy!

Dates&Figs Tart

When experiments in the kitchen end up like this amazing tart, all I can say is – you have to try it as soon as possible! Really! It is luxurious and creamy, and as many other my recipes is very easy to prepare, especially if you already have a ready shortcrust pastry in your fridge or freezer! Preferably homemade.. Seriously, don’t go out and buy ready pastry. Do try to prepare it yourself, at least once and you will see how easy it is. 😀 Have a look at my unsweetened pastry recipe here (super tasty quiches).
 The tender custard-ish filling was done in almost no time. Simple and unbelievably good! Of course it’s hard to get fresh figs, so I do think you can substitute with dried ones, but then reduce the sugar. Fig&Date tart-2
 Sweet and tender fruits, rich and flaky crust – all these words make my mouth water!
Fig&Date tart-1
What you need is to get ingredients and follow instructions. Very easy recipe, believe me. And don’t forget to stand back and admire this beautiful tart before enjoying! 😉
Date and fig tart

Dates&Figs Tart

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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For 20cm baking tin
*Substitute with orange juice or simply omit.
Ingredients
Unsweeten or sweet shortcrust pastry, any one you like/have.
10-11 medium-size dates
3 fresh figs
1 tbsp orange liqueur or cognac*
2 large eggs
80g brown sugar
250ml creme fraiche (30%)
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
almond flakes
Method
  1. Line the baking tin with baking paper if need. Otherwise, roll out the pastry to fit the tin. Prick the pastry base with a fork and chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. If you have a time you can prebake the pastry base.
  2. Pit the dates, keeping them whole; cut figs; put both in a bowl and drizzle with liquor and leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
  3. Beat eggs with sugar.
  4. In another large mixing bowl, whisk creme fraiche with vanilla, nutmeg, add the egg mixture and whisk again.
  5. Arrange the dates and figs over the pastry. Pour over the batter. Sprinkle with almond flakes.
  6. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 20-25 minutes or until the centre is set. Leave to cool in a tin, then carefully take the tart out and serve.
Enjoy! 
DATE TART

Cherry Clafoutis

 First of all, I’d like to thank each and every one for the lovely comments and wishes in the previous post. These two months gone so fast.. Being pregnant I’d read somewhere that when you bring a baby home, your life becomes a blur and chaotic. I doubt why is that.. I thought I’d had at least a hour or so between a mealtime. Now I understand how wrong I was. I sleep when I can, shower when I remember and eat when I have a time (needless to say, that now I can eat a cold dinner, which I used to hate before; I reheat my tea a million of times and finally drink it cold). 😀 But! This little guy is worth his weight in gold because he brought an absolute joy into my life. ❤Clafoutis {milkandbun} Last month was a cherry season here.. in supermarkets! Haha. 😀 I adore cherries! I wish they were sold often here so I could eat them every single day! Besides consuming fresh cherries, I made one of the simplest desserts – cherry clafoutis. Lots of sweet cherries in a tender custardish batter, it is a perfect delicious treat.
 Clafoutis is a baked French dessert, traditionally made with stoned cherries. Honestly speaking, may be it’s really authentic and stones add a nice almondish aroma, but I prefer to enjoy every bite of the dessert and do not think about that I can crack teeth.. And of course, if I make it for guests I don’t want them to spit out stones. 😉 Enjoy!
Cherry Clafoutis {milkandbun}

Cherry Clafoutis

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Adapted from Jamie Oliver magazine
Ingredients
a knob of soft butter, for greasing
1 tbsp sugar, for shrinking
500g cherries, pitted
Batter
3 large eggs, medium temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract, optional
60g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
60g white sugar
300ml full fat milk
Extra
icing sugar, for dusting
Method
  1. Mix all batter ingredients in a large bowl until smooth and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C.
  3. Grease a round baking dish with butter and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Arrange cherries in a single layer in a baking dish.
  5. Pour the batter over the cherries.
  6. Bake the clafoutis until the custard is set. Mine took about 50-60 minutes.
  7. Serve warm and sprinkle with icing sugar, if desired.
Enjoy!

Russian roll with Argentinian pears

 Everything is simple here. A few days ago, Argentinian pears were sold in a supermarket here, I’ve never tried them before and the price was attractive, so I bought a huge pack. Even though they turned out juicy and very delicious I still had some not-so-ripe left. Good to highlight, that using a bit hard but ripe pears that retain its shape during the baking process is a key to the good and not mushy filling.
I added tvorog (as I mentioned many times in my blog – it’s very Russian product) into the dough for my roll, it makes the dough softer and more tasty. Don’t worry, the dough won’t rip but make sure you carefully roll it out on a floured surface. Pear Roll
 The roll looks like a strudel, but the dough is absolutely different, it’s not that thin and thus much easier to roll out! It is tender&delicious and absolutely deserves to make it again and again. Another bonus, the dough can be make a day ahead! Plus juicy pears, sweet black raisins and crunchy nuts in the filling! Doesn’t it sound luscious? It is! 😀Russian roll with Argentinian pears

Russian roll with Argentinian pears

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

Dough

250g tvorog
90g soft butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 tbsp white sugar
200-210g plain flour
a pinch of fine salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
Filling
40g black raisins
hot strong black tea or water
1 egg white, optional
80-100g roasted almonds, chopped
450g (3-4) pears, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp brown or raw sugar
Glaze
1 egg yolk
2 tsp milk
1 tbsp demerara or raw sugar, optional
Method
  1. For the roll dough, whisk tvorog with butter.
  2. In another small bowl, whisk egg with sugar until pale. Add beaten egg into the mixture.
  3. Sift the flour along with salt and baking powder into the dough. Combine to get the soft dough, shape into the disk. Cover in a plastic wrap and put in a fridge for 30-60 minutes to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 180C/360F.
  5. Wash raisins and cover with hot strong black tea or water. Leave to soak while ready to use. Drain.
  6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into 30x40cm rectangle, making sure it doesn’t stick to the surface.
  7. Brush the surface of the roll with egg white (optional). Sprinkle with nuts, spread pears and raisins. Sprinkle with sugar. Slightly fold in all sides (thus the filling will stay inside the roll and don’t fall out). Roll the dough into a barrel.
  8. Carefully transfer the roll on a greased lined baking tray. Brush the roll with egg glaze and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden-brown.
  9. Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes. Slice and serve as is or with whipped cream/frozen vanilla yogurt/ice cream.
Enjoy!